I’ve got something I really must say because of the specialness of it. Kaitlyn’s medical school was Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem. She loved her school and she said it was one of the best, and it is.
Only an hour or two after I was informed of her death and we were on that painful three and a half hour drive to Winston-Salem to her apartment, I was called by two of the Deans of the medical school, Dr. Block and Dr. Knudson. They were so kind and grief stricken themselves. They wanted to meet us at Kaitlyn’s apartment as soon as we arrived and we let them know how long it would be before we got there.
When we arrived after we talked with the police, the apartment manager, and read Kaitlyn’s suicide note, we went onto Kaitlyn’s apartment and by that time the deans had arrived. They showed the most heartfelt sympathy for us and talked about how this was unbelievable for Kaitlyn. They talked as they knew her personally, not just a student of one of the many that they have, but a student they knew and liked. One said that after he found out, he read her mission statement she wrote when she applied for the school and it relayed everything they ever wanted in a student. Her grades were excellent and she was special. I was in awe at the kindness and thoughtfulness and sadness that these two gentlemen extended to us in our time of horror and grief. They even offered a free motel room, already paid for by them for the night for us. But we declined as we had to soon go back and make preparations for her funeral, but we were so moved by their kindness.
Since this time, I have been contacted by both of these doctors several times via email and telephone. Dr. Block even sent me a book of Living When a Loved one has Died, that I have found very helpful. Remarkable
I also donated all Kaitlyn’s medical books and test prep books back to the school and they said they would make sure they found the proper new owners and were grateful. I feel Kaitlyn would have wanted this to be done with her books.
I just spoke with Dr. Knudson on the phone a few minutes ago. He called to ask my permission to do a number of things of which he has spoken to me before about. They are going to donate the next school publication to Kaitlyn. (This is a something they publish every 3 months or so). In it are going to be letters from her classmates on their thoughts and experiences of Kaitlyn. Also, with my permission given, they are going to put in two of her poems that she had written while she was still at Campbell.
One of the deans had asked before her funeral about the students wanting to send flowers for Kaitlyn’s funeral, Allyn told him that though Kaitlyn loved flowers, he thought that it might be better that instead of sending flowers, that they donate money for some kind of mental health help at the medical school, which I know Kaitlyn would have wanted. So what he told me is that the students, faculty, parents of the students and members of the community all want to give to this fund, so they are setting up a fund in Kaitlyn’s honor in their wellness center in the school, that will deal with mental illness awareness and help for the students that will be ongoing forever, in her memory and her honor. Also, he wanted my permission to borrow one of her pictures that she drew, make a full sized copy of it, frame it and hang it at the school at the wellness center. Of course I gave permission for that
So see, Kaitlyn will continue to go on even after death, helping people, and she WILL be remembered. I can’t tell you what gratification and happiness that gives me.
Another thing that was special about this school is that many of her fellow classmates went to her visitation as they all could not go, they represented her whole class and they were so kind. They had traveled a long way.
We are very touched by the staff and students where my daughter attended medical school. She was not just a number, a face in the crowd of many, she was special and we were made to know this. Any school that displays this much compassion to the parents of something so tragic, is a great school indeed, in many ways.
Her self portrait she drew in high school: